Snowballs and Radio Caroline

Bill Nighy throws a few shapes in The Boat That Rocked
Bill Nighy throws a few shapes in The Boat That Rocked
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I’ve never been any good at twiddling knobs, dear.

Years ago when I was broadcasting live on local community radio Express FM, I was always taking the station off air.

I could always find a knob I shouldn’t have twiddled and, oops a daisy, the automated music would come on and station manager Kevin Huffer would be screaming down the phone: ‘How do you do it Miss James?’

Now I’m just a live guest on Wave 105 and leave all the technical stuff to the adorable Andy Jackson.

Well, last Saturday saw the start of the festive season’s gogglebox programming. I thought it would be 98 per cent repeats but, oh goodie, I was wrong. And the film The Boat That Rocked was of great interest to me.

The film loosely told the story of the pirate radio ships of the ’60s.

Come on, hands up, who remembers Radio Caroline?

Back in the ’60s the Beeb didn’t broadcast pop music and the yoof of the day were desperate to hear The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, etc.

So these off-shore radio ships were set up to play pop music.Millions tuned in.

The government eventually brought in the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act and shut them down in 1967.

I did listen to Radio Caroline, but at night the transistor radio hidden under my pillow would be tuned into Radio Luxembourg. Do you remember how it would fade and crackle?

But we ’60s teenagers were determined to listen to pop.

IPods! Huh, we lived back then.

Well, Christmas Day will be over. I am sooo humbug.

I remember Christmases past when I was a teenager and we were allowed a ‘snowball’. So de riguer in my day, snowballs – eggs and brandy liqueur with lemonade and a cherry on a stick popped on top – were delightful.

Well my darlings, all you lovely News readers, may I take this opportunity to raise my treble Tia Maria and wish you all a very merry Christmas.